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Dr. Roy awarded $488K to help veterans become librarians

Texas iSchool Professor Loriene Roy has received a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to help U.S. veterans become librarians.

In partnership with San José State University and the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Dr. Roy will use the $488,501 IMLS grant to conduct a three-year project titled “Reaching Those Who Served: Recruiting and Preparing Military Veterans for Careers in Librarianship.”

The project aims to answer two research questions:

  • How do military veterans choose careers in librarianship and information studies?
  • What are effective strategies to recruit veterans into LIS graduate programs?

Jobs in the information fields share characteristics of a number of “hot jobs” for military veterans, Dr. Roy said. Such careers include IT specialist, math or science teacher and civilian public servant.

Based on the findings of their research, she and her partners will develop guidelines and strategies for recruiting veterans to library and information science master’s programs, among related initiatives. The project will also provide scholarships for 12 military veterans to attend LIS master’s programs.

“Reaching Those Who Served” was one of 14 projects selected from a field of 58 applications.

The project builds on Dr. Roy’s earlier work with organizations such as the Austin-based nonprofit group SongwritingWith:Soldiers. In 2014 she received a one-year, $50,000 grant from IMLS to plan for “Reaching Those Who Served.”

“We’re thrilled to be able to extend our understanding of how libraries work with military veterans,” Dr. Roy said. “This time we are admitting veterans into master’s programs and studying approaches to recruiting veterans into the information professions.”

For more information, contact Dr. Roy at loriene@ischool.utexas.edu.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through a 3-year (2017-2020) grant {RE-96-17-0018-17].